Of Special Interest


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15th December 2013

Weekly Insurance Global Analysis

This week, speculation on the future of RSA intensified as another major tranche of finance was added to reserves in its Irish business and Group chief executive Simon Lee resigned. Shares fell by over 7% on Friday with predictions of disposal of some of the insurer's more lucrative business units or even a takeover by a European major. Earlier, QBE announced that it would be likely to post a signicant year-end loss after the need to shore up its North American book reserves and writedown goodwill.
EIOPA published its latest Financial Stability Report with an emphasis on the low interest rate environment, echoed by a report by Standard & Poor's on factors impacting European insurers' rating stability. UK regulator PRA warned on the tight schedule for implemementing Solvency II. It also set up a Practitioner Panel which included three repesentatives from the insurance industry.
PwC reported on the potential cost of recent UK floods, whilst Fitch reviewed the prospects for the major Japanese non-life insurers.
Eurobase reported progress in the deployment of its Synergy Underwriting Platform by Colonial Group International in Bermuda and across the Caribbean, and Guidewire achieved a leading position in a survey of the Best Places to Work in the US. Xactware in helping to streamline claims settlement at LV= in the UK, and Xuber is to look at challenges and opportunities for the London Market at an event to be held next month.
Prudential revealed upbeat new objectives to investors, Lloyds Bank disposed of its remaining interest in the successful St James's Place, industry veteran Brian Duperreault led a team of investors with a view to acquiring SAC Re, and Admiral renewed its underwriting arrangements with Munich Re. Latin American reinsurance specialist Patria Re opened an office in London with the support of Ambant, US Risk(UK) launched a new MGA in the London Market, and R&Q is to double its syndicate capital. Howden Broking Group bought a major stake in a Finnish broker to strengthen its Scandinavian presence.
On the people front, outgoing Lloyd's chief executive Dr Richard Ward is to become chairman of Brit, Willis has appointed a ceo of Global Solutions International, and the secretary general of the Geneva Association is to stand down at the next General Assembly in June.
Articles on the above topics were included in those added to the Insurance Newslink and Financial Newslink global database service this week at www.onlystrategic.com.